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China drone maker DJI wins $75m from Accel Partners

中国无人机制造商大疆获硅谷风投.jpg

DJI, the Chinese company that has emerged as one of the leaders in the burgeoning civilian market for drones, has raised $75 million from Accel Partners, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm.

已经涌现为新兴民用无人机市场领军者之一的中国DJI公司从硅谷风险投资商阿克塞尔合伙公司筹集到7500万美元。

The deal values DJI, which is based in Shenzen, China, at about $8 billion, according to one person briefed on the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity. It is one of Accel’s largest investments ever.

这笔交易将总部设在中国深圳的DJI的市场估值定在约80亿美元。据一位了解交易情况的人说,这是阿克塞尔有史以来最大的一笔投资。该人要求匿名。

The soaring valuation for the company reflects DJI’s rapid growth in drones, a market that has captivated the public even as regulators and law enforcement in countries like the United States grapple with the safety and privacy risks of opening the skies to unmanned aircraft with cameras. Hobbyists are free to fly drones like the Phantom from DJI as long as they obey certain rules, while regulators are beginning to relax restrictions on their commercial uses, like aerial photography and inspecting crops.

对公司极高的估值反映了DJI在无人机市场的快速增长,这个市场已经让公众着迷。尽管在像美国这样的国家,监管和执法部门仍在努力设法解决向带有相机的无人机开放天空所带来的安全和隐私风险问题,只要遵守一定的规则,业余爱好者们就可以随便放飞像DJI生产的Phantom那样的无人机。而监管机构也开始放松对无人机商业使用、比如航空摄影和检查作物的限制。

“The size of our investment really shows how big we think the opportunity can become,” said Sameer Gandhi, a partner at Accel, which is best known for its early investment in Facebook. It also has stakes in other start-ups like Dropbox and Slack.

“我们投资的规模确实显示了我们认为这个机会能有多大,”阿克塞尔合伙人萨米尔·甘地说,这家风投公司在Facebook的早期投资最为人知。公司也入股了其它初创公司,比如Dropbox和Slack。

DJI has emerged as the one of most prominent names in the market. Its Phantom 2 drone, a copter with four rotors, starts at $859, while higher-end models like the Inspire 1 start at $2,900.

DJI已涌现为无人机市场最耀眼的名字之一。它的Phantom 2无人机是有四个水平旋翼的直升机,起价为859美元,而像“悟”Inspire 1这样的高端机型起价为2900美元。

Forbes on Tuesday published a profile of DJI in which it said that DJI was on track to exceed $1 billion in sales this year, compared with about $500 million in revenue last year and $120 million in profit. Another person familiar with DJI’s finances confirmed the accuracy of those figures, asking for anonymity because the company has not publicly released them.

《福布斯》杂志周二发表了一篇介绍DJI的文章,文章说,DJI今年的销售额有望超过10亿美元。与之相比,公司去年的营收大约为5亿美元,利润为120万美元。另一位知晓DJI财政状况的人士证实了这些数字的准确性,但要求不具名,因为公司尚未公开发布数字。

Sequoia Capital, another Silicon Valley investment firm, invested around $30 million in DJI last year.

另一家硅谷投资公司红杉资本去年向DJI投资了约3000万美元。

Other drone makers are angling for a piece of the market, too. Last month, 3DR, a drone maker in Berkeley, Calif., one of whose founders is Chris Anderson, a former editor of Wired magazine, raised $64 million from a group of venture capitalists and corporate investors.

其它无人机制造商也在垂涎这一市场。上个月,加州伯克利的无人机制造商3DR从一群风险投资家和企业投资方募集到640万美元,3DR的创始人之一是克里斯·安德森,他曾是《连线》杂志的主编。

Mr. Gandhi of Accel described the growth of DJI as a watershed moment for a Chinese technology company, because such companies are often thought of as copying innovations from companies in the United States and elsewhere.

阿克塞尔的甘地把DJI的增长描述为中国技术公司的转折点,因为人们往往认为中国技术公司靠山寨美国和其他国家的创新为生。

“For one of the first times, you’re seeing an international company, a Chinese company, being the innovator and frankly leapfrogging all activity in other parts of the world and truly being the company everyone is chasing from an innovation point of view,” Mr. Gandhi said.

甘地说,“这是首次,你看到一家国际公司、一家中国公司作为创新者。坦率地说,这家公司超越了世界其他地区的所有活动,从创新的角度来看,真正成为了其他人都在追逐的公司。”

2016-06-23

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